If you have ever despaired over dull and tedious compliance training, #TheGoodPlace, now in its third season on NBC, should give you some hope. It proves that serious concepts do not have to be presented in dry, boring and complicated ways.
In the show, Eleanor, a horrible person who dies and gets sent to “The Good Place” by mistake, tries to become a better person to avoid being sent to “The Bad Place.” Helping her in her quest is Chidi, an ethics professor who introduces her to moral philosophers to the likes of Socrates, Plato, Aristotle and Kant.
As Chidi continues to teach ethics and philosophy, the characters inadvertently act out in ways that lead to true learning. For example, early in season one, Eleanor realizes for the first time that her selfishness causes others around her to suffer. Later, she argues self-servingly that under Utilitarianism, the end justifies the means. Season two delivers dialogue gems such as “I have to keep lying; I’m in too deep,” and “Moral strength is defined by how we behave in times of stress,” – lines that are no stranger to ethics and compliance professionals.
As the show progresses, perhaps the most powerful reminder is that knowing what one should do does not always lead to what one would do. Which means, making sure that employees know what’s right from wrong is a good first step; but making sure that they act ethically in the face of “very concrete sacrifice,” as stated eloquently in an NPR article, is the hardest but ultimate goal to achieve.
So, if you need inspiration to take your #ComplianceTraining or #ComplianceProgram to a better place, schedule The Good Place as your next binge session on Netflix. (Don’t worry, I haven’t given any spoilers away.)